Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Spiderman" - Halloween 2011

Okay...I'm pretty proud of this. I had never made a mask before this one, (nor attempted much sewing, for that matter) so I think it came out pretty good.

The idea actually came from the kind of doodles I like to draw. If you've seen my sketches you know I like to draw people with weird creature heads...deep-sea fish, bugs, etc. etc. So when I was thinking about making a Halloween costume this year, I decided just to do that. The idea to call it "Spiderman" happened when I was thinking about how I was gonna explain my costume to people. But I'm glad I thought of it, because I think it ended up way funnier than "arachnocephalic businessman" would have been.

Here's more or less how I made it:

1. Traced my head onto a sheet of butcher paper, from the front and from profile, and made sketches of where I wanted the fangs, eyes, and everything else to go.

2. Made a wire armature of the head using my tracings as guidelines. I used steel wire held together with Aquamend (a kind of malleable adhesive that molds like clay, but dries rock-hard). NOTE: I don't actually recommend the use of wire for this, because it is a) uncomfortable and b) difficult to secure in a fool-proof fashion. Like I said, this was my first mask. Next time I think I'll try to use construction foam for this part.

3. Used Aquamend to form the fangs at the ends of the chelicerae.

4. Wrapped batting around the armature to shape out the chelicerae and add some padding to the rest of it. Tacked the batting down with thread.

5. Laid in black netting above the fangs so I would have a slit to see through, and attached it directly to the armature with glue.

6. Cut a pattern for the fur and lining using scrap cloth.

7. Sewed all the fur and lining pieces onto the head.

8. Cut 1 racquetball and 3 ping pong balls in half, spray painted them flat black and glazed them with a mixture of metallic black acrylic and iridescent red glass paint. These are the "eyes" on the mask.

9. Glued the eyes onto the fur.

10. Bought a suit.

11. Put it on and pranced around, took silly pictures, answered the door wearing it, etc.

Of course this is the cut and dry outline of what I did, without all the messy experimentation I went through to reach a few of these steps. But that's the gist.

Also, this is the first time I've put together a costume in YEARS, and let me just say...doing this kind of thing makes Halloween WAY more fun.

Can't wait till next year.

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